|Posted by [email protected] on March 24, 2014 at 7:50 AM|
The tooth enamel is the toughest part or substance in the entire human body. It is described as a semi-translucent and incredibly hard outer layer of the teeth. It also comes with a very important responsibility: to provide exterior protection for the teeth from the daily wear and tear of eating, biting, and chewing. The tooth enamel is also there to protect the teeth from the extreme temperature coming from substances like hot and cold food. And of course, without the enamel, there’s no protection against the erosive effects of acids and chemicals.
Enamel is there to cover the dentin, or that part of the tooth which is quite soft and not as dense. So when the enamel becomes eroded, the dentin will eventually lose the protection it needs. As a result, the microscopic tubes found inside the dentin will now allow the hot and cold, including sugary foods to stimulate the nerves inside. And when this happens, you teeth becomes a lot more sensitive to cold drinks, hot food, and anything sweet.
Causes of Enamel Erosion
So what are the primary causes of tooth enamel erosion? Actually, there are several factors that contribute to it and some of them are detailed below:
- Combine poor dental hygiene and the love for sweets and what you get is the perfect recipe for tooth enamel erosion. Keep in mind that bacteria will thrive in places where there is lots of sugar and when your mouth is that same place, there will be high acid level production which eats enamel away.
- Another cause is dry mouth or the low production of saliva. The function of saliva is essential because aside from aiding in digestion, it is also responsible for effectively preventing decay by way of neutralizing acids and then washing away leftover food debris in the mouth.
- Ever heard of heartburn? The official term is acid reflux disease. When you have acid reflux, the condition will bring the stomach acids to the mouth and the same acids will erode enamel when tolerated and left untreated.
- In some health issues or conditions that correspond to frequent vomiting such as bulimia, binge drinking, or alcoholism, there will also be greater chances of exposing the teeth to the acids coming from the stomach.
- Taking some particular drugs or supplements that have high acid content will also lead to enamel erosion. One example is taking aspirin and vitamin C.
Now how do you know that you are suffering from tooth enamel erosion? Here are the common symptoms:
- Having more sensitive teeth and experiencing tooth pain more often than usual, especially when eating hot, cold, and sugary foods and drinks.
- You see irregular edges on the teeth. They may eventually crack or get chipped when the enamel is lost completely.
- There are smooth and shiny surfaces on the teeth. This is because the erosion leads to mineral loss.
- There is yellowed teeth due to thinner enamel.
- There are dents or cupping that appear on the biting and chewing surfaces of the teeth.